CONSTRUCTION SITE REPORT: 26 custom colours for the “Marseillaise” tower

20 December 2018

La Marseillaise, designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, surprises with its modern design and 26 custom colours. At 135 metres high, it is the second highest tower in the Quais d’Arenc district and contributes to the development of Marseille’s skyline. It offers 55,000 m² of office space spread over 31 floors and has a stunning sea view.


Lightness and transparency

Jean Nouvel has created a tower with blurred boundaries, which evaporates into the sky and melts into the landscape. The building stands out for its lightness, transparency and custom colours. The openwork concrete brise soleil and colour shades give the tower a very clean look.


A mesh made of UHPFC

The tower is clad with a UHPFC (Ultra-High Performance Fibre Concrete) mesh to make it airtight and waterproof. The 3818 UHPFC brise soleil and apron walls were made in the Méditerranée pre-casting plant. They were then stained in different colours on the surface and underside before being delivered to the site as it progressed.

26 custom colours to dress and protect concrete

The tower plays with the tricolour shades of blue, white and red. These shades bring to mind the red of Marseille roofs, the blue of the Mediterranean and the white of the limestone hills.

For this colossal project, Ateliers Jean Nouvel called upon Guard Industrie who developed 26 custom colours of its concrete stain ProtectGuard Color Two-Component.

This colour gradation thus offers a different perception depending on distance and light. Thanks to this stain, the Marseillaise is now durably protected against water, dirt and graffiti.

ProtectGuard Color, a 2-in-1 stain that protects and colours concrete

ProtectGuard Color tints the skin of concrete while preserving its mineral properties. It also provides water, oil and graffiti protection to preserve the beauty of the works.

ProtectGuard Color gives the works a new aesthetic dimension. This semi-transparent stain makes it possible to choose both the colour and the finish of the tint. This extremely varied choice makes it possible to obtain a unique and infinitely customisable rendering.

ProtectGuard Color provides protection against water, dirt and graffiti. Treated structures become waterproof and repel water and dirt marks. They are more weather-resistant and are easier to maintain.

The tower stands out

The building won second place in the Emporis Skyscraper Awards 2018, an award for the most outstanding skyscraper of the year presented by Emporis. The judging panel was impressed by the colour scheme of the facade, which makes it stand out from current skyscrapers whose facades are often uniformly coloured, and by its ecological design.